Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke steps down, becomes NFL’s COO

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An opportunity for Tod Leiweke has led to a front office shakeup for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The team announced that Leiweke is stepping down from his post as the chief executive officer to become the NFL’s chief operating officer.

Leiweke spent five years with the Lightning, working under owner Jeff Vinik. Lightning president Steve Griggs has been named as his successor while GM Steve Yzerman will still report to Vinik when it comes to any matter that relates to hockey operations.

“Tod has been instrumental in our franchise transformation and I am grateful for all his work and dedication,” said Vinik. “During Tod’s five years with the Lightning, we have set our franchise on a trajectory for excellence with Steve Griggs and an outstanding management team working beside him every step of the way. Steve is ready for the additional responsibilities that come with being CEO, and, as a testament to Tod, we will not miss a beat moving forward.”

Griggs has previously worked for the Minnesota Wild, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, and the Orlando Magic. Leiweke brought Griggs in to serve as Tampa Bay’s COO and then later as team president. Griggs has been credited with helping grow the business side of the Lightning, including the team’s season ticket base.